Something I love about coffee is that it is pretty much everywhere. Some places have better coffee, some have Dunkin Doughnuts. I find it extremely interesting how the area affects the coffee scene.
My home state of Arizona does not have much of a coffee scene. Starbucks rules with an iron fist here. One of the main issues is that there is not a lot of foot traffic here. The city is sprawled out over miles and miles. We don't have a booming down town area like most cities. Those two factors are the main reason mom and pop shops can't survive in the world of chains and franchises.
My experience in San Diego is that they love the weather (I mean, who doesn't?). So the coffee shops tend to be more open and utilize fresh air and the natural scenery. It is also kind of hipster town where everyone wants to really know where the product is coming from. I find that most of the places I frequent there are mom and pop shops. I think the most of any have 2-3 locations total.
Coffee shops are kind of cultural hub and have been for hundreds of years. The coffee itself will tell what the people are like. Do they wait for high quality or do they want it now? Do people like to try new things or do they stick to the comfortable chains that are always the same?
The design of the shops tells you about what the people value. Are all the decorations recycled? Does it have earth tones, bright colors, or is it industrial? What does the art on the walls tell you about the people? How do the people interact with each other? All of these will open you up to what that area is like as a whole.
Coffee shops reflect the people they serve.
I am now traveling to Orlando, Florida. I am going to try and find a few good coffee shops and see how the region affects how they do things.